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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article6 December 20212 min read

European cities dominate the top 10 in a global Urban Mobility Readiness Index

European cities dominate the top 10 of a new worldwide Urban Mobility Readiness Index. The index ranks 60 major cities around the globe on how well they are positioned to deal with the urban mobility challenges that lie ahead. The Swedish capital Stockholm leads the overall ranking, with other European cities featuring in the top 10.

The 2021 Urban Mobility Readiness Index evaluates 60 cities across 57 key performance indicators covering five basic dimensions: infrastructure, social impact, market attractiveness, system efficiency, and innovation. In addition, a 'Sustainability' sub-index provides a separate analysis of a sub-set of 16 KPIs that focus on how cities are investing and organising to ensure that their urban mobility is sustainable. Rather than considering the status quo, the index gives extra weight to factors that capture a city’s ability to build urban mobility ecosystems that are capable of thriving in the future. The index was prepared by the University of California, Berkeley and the Oliver Wyman Forum.

Leading cities in the mobility revolution are likely to: expand the service, availability and linkages of public transport; provide safe roads, reliable services, and employment opportunities; enable emerging technologies, such as electric and autonomous vehicles; emphasise the digitalisation and sustainability of transport; improve their preparedness for risks; and align municipal policies, regulations and budgets accordingly.

Stockholm leads the overall ranking, doing particularly well with respect to its high utilisation of public transport and a high market share of electric vehicles. Second and third in the list are San Francisco in the USA and Singapore. Whereas the former scored relatively well on innovation and private sector involvement indicators, the latter scored well on road quality, as well as on the use and affordability of public transport and shared mobility penetration.

European cities also taking a place in the top 10 include the Finnish capital Helsinki (4th), which scored particularly high marks on shared mobility penetration and traffic fluidity, and Amsterdam (5th) in the Netherlands with its large-scale, smart city initiative that encourages the development and adoption of electric vehicles. Berlin was sixth, the German capital benefiting from efficient multimodal infrastructure, while fellow German city Munich was ninth scoring well on the use and affordability of public transport. In between the German cities, London was seventh, the UK capital scoring well on infrastructure and innovation. The Swiss city of Zurich completed the top ten, scoring well on the quality and safety of roads and public transport affordability.

Nordic cities lead on the sustainability of mobility, with the Norwegian capital Oslo topping the list, scoring top marks on electric vehicle penetration and road safety. Helsinki and Stockholm were third and fourth, respectively, followed closely by the bicycle capital Amsterdam.

According to the authors, it will be interesting to see how Covid-19 will continue to impact on urban mobility. The challenges of Covid-19 encouraged a number of cities to invest in, and to promote, walking and cycling, with an increased level of remote working contributing to reduced congestion and emissions. At the same time many cities witnessed a decline in the use of public transport and a shift to private vehicles. Investments in transport infrastructure are part of the economic recovery measures planned in several countries. It will be interesting to see how these, and other, measures will lead to more sustainable and active forms of mobility in cities and how it will affect the ranking in 2022.

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Publication date
6 December 2021
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • International